What I learned:Anton Casey enraged many Singaporeans with his postings online. He posted a picture of his son with the caption: "Daddy where is your car and who are all these poor people?" and later posted a picture of his son is in a silver Porsche with the caption: "Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me." His postings were not appreciated by Singaporeans as they responded very angrily and even Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam lambasted the posts as "deeply offensive". Mr Casey has made an attempt to apologise, issuing a statement through a PR firm but the attempt backfired as the move was slammed as insincere. The story has made it to the UK, Hong Kong and Australian media, whose audience also responded scathingly to Mr Casey's comments.The company that Mr Casey works for, Crossinvest Asia, has said that his comments went against their company's core corporate values and he has since lost his job and flew to Perth because his family was facing too many death-threats and backlashes. A Singaporean Actress, Oon Shu An wrote a letter to Mr Casey that has gone viral. In her letter, she explained to Casey why these “poor people smell”, a reference to Casey's "poor people"Facebook post. “Poor people stink because they run ten times as fast to earn in a lifetime what you earn in a month… Poor people smell. And it’s the smell of a fight,” said theactress, who has been acting since she was 14. The 27-year-old Fly Entertainment artiste's letter has been shared over 400 times and garnered over 200 Likes as of Sunday. It has also received a string of praises from other Facebook users. Oon, who appeared in local movie Becoming Royston, then turned the table around and said the rich expat — who lost his job as a private wealth manager and packed his bags and left for Perth with his family on Friday -- had a stench too. “You stink, like the rich people who think of ways not to change the system that allows people to be paid less than minimum wage, [the system] that allows contracts that terminate you for bogus reasons because it’s cheaper to get someone else.” This incident is one of the many that tells us to be careful of what we post online and that whatever we say can and will be held against us and could bring repercussions that could be life-changing and we could go as far as moving out of the continent, just as Mr Casey did.
In my opinion, I think that Mr Casey's case was blown way out of proportion as moving out of the continent to get away from death threats is pretty extreme. Singaporeans are very technology-inclined and thus his posts went viral very quickly, and enraged many people. I think that what he did was very wrong, even if he meant it as a joke. He was not tactful and insulted Singapore. Adding on to the fact that Mr Casey is not Singaporean, Singaporeans would see it as a foreigner looking down on us and thus react very violently, going as far as to issue death threats to protect our pride as a Singaporean. This shows that we have to be more tactful online as whatever we say and do is seen and spread very quickly. I'm sure nobody wants to be on the receiving end on a case like Mr Casey's.